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Nasogastric Tube Insertion

(757) 668-7000

Your child needs a nasogastric tube (NG tube) for feeding. This soft tube is placed through your child's nose, goes down the esophagus and into the stomach. Tube feedings will help your child grow and stay healthy. Although putting a tube in may be scary at first, most parents learn how to put down the NG tube while the child is still hospitalized. Below are the steps to follow when putting down an NG tube.

Your child will use:

Tube Type ___________________________

Size ___________________________

Length ___________________________

Length of exposed tube once placed ___________________________

Supplies you will need to insert the NG Tube:

  • New or clean NG tube
  • Surgilube™ or sterile water to lubricate the end of the tube.
  • Tape for marking the length and securing the tube to your child's face.
  • Skin barrier such as Duoderm™ or Restore™ to use under the facial tape.
  • Syringes (10 ml or larger) and additional supplies to check tube placement as ordered by your doctor or home health nurse
  • Tape Measure to measure exposed tube length

Inserting the NG tube:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Measure the tube. If the first tube was placed during fluoroscopy, the length of tube from the nose to the end of the tube will be noted. Use this length to mark how far to insert the tube as shown by your child's nurse. Your doctor or nurse may need to change the length as your child grows.
  3. Prepare small pieces of tape to be used for taping the tube to the face. Cut a piece of skin barrier and apply to the cheek where the tube and tape will go.
  4. Without blocking the holes at the end of the tube, lubricate the end of the tube with a small amount of Surgilube™ or sterile water.
  5. If possible, have one person help hold the child still in a sitting position. For infants and toddlers, using the baby's stroller often works well.
  6. As shown by your child's nurse, place the new NG tube into the opposite nostril of where the old tube was (unless there is a physical reason not to do this). Insert the tube in a back and down motion. If the child is old enough, he/she can help by taking small sips of water as you insert the tube. Watch the child carefully for any signs of breathing problems. If the child has labored breathing or begins turning blue, remove the tube and try again later.
  7. Stop inserting the tube when you reach the pre-measured length. Gently remove the guidewire at this time, if present. Tape the NG tube in place.
  8. Your child’s nurse will teach you how to check that the tube is correctly placed in the stomach according to your doctor’s orders or home health agency practice.




  9. Once placement is confirmed, tape the tube securely. ALWAYS avoid any pressure against the nostrils.
  10. The NG tube will need to be changed every ________ days. If the tube becomes clogged easily you may need to change it more often. Your home health nurse can give you helpful ideas for keeping the tube clear.

Please contact your child's Clinical Nurse Specialist or doctor if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 08/06

(757) 668-7000